Young Ladies Sodality Banner
Unpacking and hanging the banner today at the Loyola University Museum of Art resolved a question that had been pursued in the original post on the front side of the “Maria Immaculata Banner.”
Two sodalities had been formed at the outset of Holy Family parish and both had been placed under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. The first had been the “Sodality of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary for Men” (of which Irish immigrant John Comiskey, father of Charles, had been a founder). The second had been the “Young Ladies’ Sodality,” founded on August 15, 1861 (feast of the Assumption of Mary). The date on the reverse side suggested that it was this later group for whom the banner had been made, especially since they had been united transnationally with Rome on December 8, 1862, under the title of the “Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
When the banner was unpacked today in the Loyola University Museum of Art, the question was completely resolved. This monumental banner belonged to the “Young Ladies Sodality” of Holy Family Church.
It could very well have been ready for the great annual June processions: the June 1, 1862, procession concluding the Marian month of May. And for the annual Corpus Christi procession on June 22 that year, the procession that, from ancient times to the present, has signaled the beginning of the summer growing season. (August 15, the Assumption, signals the harvest and conclusion of summer.)
An expert in this medium says that the banner is extremely rare in that the oil paint on leather is unusually intact and well preserved from cracking.
Lender: Holy Family Church, Chicago